The Malik Report
Updated 4x with video @ 1:09 PM: Howard starts on Friday, Mrazek Saturday.
The Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena with Daniel Cleary, Tomas Jurco and Darren Helm in "scratch" jerseys today, and after picture day and a brisk practice, the players and coach spoke with the media:
From MLive's Ansar Khan...
Kindl (eye infection) said he'll be ready to play Friday.
Wings have waived Daniel Cleary.
Helm said he won't play this weekend. Shooting for next week.
The Free Press's Helene St. James...
Per Sportsnet's John Shannon:
Remember: Cleary on waivers =/= Cleary going to GR. He can stay with the team and/or be sent down for 10 games or 30 days.
Updated 2x at 11:44 AM: The Red Wings took to the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before 11 AM, beginning to prepare in earnest for the 2015-16 regular season:
MLive's Ansar Khan reports that three more Wings are either injured or are simply not taking part in the line rushes as gray jerseys can mean two things--scratching or no-contact:
Of Red Wings-related note this morning:
MLive's Brendan Savage asks 7 questions about the Red Wings, including the following:
Can Jeff Blashill bring winning ways to NHL?
After 10 seasons under Mike Babcock, the Red Wings have a new coach this season. Blashill was promoted after spending the last three years in Grand Rapids, where he led the Griffins to at least 40 victories each season while winning the Calder Cup in 2013. Many of the current Red Wings played for Blashill, either in Grand Rapids or when he was a Red Wings assistant in 2011-12, and he's won everywhere he's been. But can he continue that trend in the NHL?
Will Pavel Datsyuk return to top form?
Datsyuk remains arguably the Red Wings most talented player when healthy. He finished second in team scoring last season with 26 goals and 39 assists despite missing 19 games with shoulder, groin and ankle injuries. The latter caused him to miss seven of nine games late in the season and required offseason surgery that will keep him sidelined until next month at the earliest. At 37, can Datsyuk return to top form when he's cleared the play?
So you don't have to believe me, but I had a gut feeling that we wouldn't get to the start of the NHL season without something Swedish hitting the wires (to the point that I was peeking at Swedish hockey websites this morning), and my gut feeling was correct.
Via RedWingsFeed, Expressen's Gunnar Nordstrom spoke with Henrik Zetterberg regarding the imminent NHL season, Zetterberg's status as a dad and of course the coaching change, and I needed a damn dictionary to roughly translate this one. I tried very hard to keep the colloquial stuff as basic as possible, and as close to a literal translation as possible, but there were times I had to gamble. So here goes:
Zetterberg: "His ideas concern us now"
Los Angeles. As captain, he's held the father's role for the Detroit Red Wings for three years.
Now Henrik Zetterberg is a real dad. When his wife Emma gave birth to the couple's first child, Love, in August, the hockey star's life changed.
"Yes, it's a little different now, and it's so neat now."
Now he's fully focused on the season's premiere on Friday night at home against Toronto. That same day, Zata will be 35 years old.
Much has changed for him before this season, both in private life and at work. The biggest event is of course the son Love Carl Zetterberg's birth.
"He was born on August 20th and it was a little fun with the name here in the U.S. in the beginning, but now people have gotten the way it's pronounced in Swedish," says Zata.
Updated 2x at 12:53 AM: Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
Jimmy Howard's spoken to the Detroit press regardindg his battle with Petr Mrazek for the starter's job in Motown, and his tone remains the same while speaking with the Bangor (Maine) Daily News's Larry Mahoney:
“I don’t think this preseason has been different than any other year,” said the 31-year-old Howard, who has a home on Green Lake in Dedham. “You’re always fighting for your position. There’s always a young guy who wants your job. It has been good. It has been healthy competition, and that’s good for the organization,” he said.
Howard posted a 3-0 record, a 2.00 GAA and a .942 save percentage during the preseason while the 23-year-old Mrazek was 2-0-1 with a 1.94 and a .942 save percentage.
“Things went well. I did everything in my power to give myself a chance to be the go-to guy. Now we’ll just have to see how everything shakes out,” Howard said.
The Grand Rapids Griffins are traveling a LONG way to begin their 2015-16 campaign, beginning the year with a game against the Bakersfield Condors on Friday and heading 232 miles south to San Diego for a game on Saturday.
The Wings' final roster machinations yielded the Griffins' first full practice on Tuesday, and both WOOD TV8 and Fox 17 reported from said practice, and it's very intriguing that Todd Nelson feels that he's got a leg up on the getting-to-know-the-team process because of the Griffins and Wings' roster continuity:
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa offered some of Ken Holland's comments from the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association's luncheon, and the Free Press's Mike Bruendell offers some quips from Holland that are quite telling:
“There’s no doubt there is a lot of energy around the locker room,” Holland, 59, said after the luncheon. “I would attribute it to new coach Jeff Blashill and to a team that had 100 points last season and lost out to Tampa Bay, who went to the Stanley Cup finals.
“No doubt, though, I can attribute it to the energy being brought in by Larkin, Bertuzzi and Athanasiou. Some of the veterans can sense they are pushing them. But, on the other hand, they sense that these young players are coming to help, and help make us better and help make us deeper.”
At the same time, Holland told Bruendell that Abdelkader, Helm, Nyquist, Tatar, DeKeyser, Smith and the Wings' "middle group" are the key to the Red Wings' success:
“That middle group of sorts — they are extremely important, not just in the short term, but in the long term,” Holland said. “We are lucky over time that they are going to carry the torch. With the addition of Mike Green and Brad Richards to support Hank and the other vets, it’s important that the group of players aged 24, 25 and 26 push for more responsibility on this team and more ice time — to force the coach to want to put you on the ice in a key situation.”
Bruendell continues, relating Holland's take on the new "boss of the team"...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
Communication was often a one-way street with former coach Mike Babcock. Zetterberg anticipates more flexibility with Blashill.
"With the whole coaching staff, whether it's the power play, the PK or overall coaching I think it's going to be good communication," Zetterberg said. "Obviously, you will go through parts of the season when you won't agree, but that's hockey. As long as you're honest with each other and open with your thoughts."
Zetterberg has six years remaining on his contract but realizes this core, with the 37-year-old Datsyuk and 34-year-old Niklas Kronwall, doesn't have many more opportunities for a Stanley Cup run.
"We know our window is closing down even though we have a lot of years left," Zetterberg said. "You never know. You see young guys coming up and they're playing really well and eventually they'll take your job. It's a good thing for this organization, but you want to be part of it as long as you can. To be able to do that you have to take care of your body, work hard and perform."
The Detroit News's Gregg Krupa attended the Detroit Sports Broadcasters' luncheon today, and in addition to posting a whole bunch of live Tweets from the event, Krupa penned a column regarding Ken Holland and Ryan Martin's comments at said event, including some surprising remarks regarding Dylan Larkin:
"That's the highest [draft pick] we've had since 1993," Holland said Tuesday at an annual lunch of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association. "Probably if the draft was held today, he might go higher than 15th. He's certainly played himself into being a real top prospect for us."
Holland and Coach Jeff Blashill met Monday with the 19-year-old Larkin, of Waterford, who played last season for Michigan.
"We told him he made the team basically by what he has done since we drafted him," Holland said.
Since the draft, Larkin has been Big Ten Rookie of the Year and among the leading scorers in the nation. He represented the United States in the world junior championship and world championships, where he fared well in a checking role against a line, for Russia, of Ilya Kovalchuk, Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin.
"He followed it up with a great preseason," Holland said. "He's going to start Friday night. And I told him and I told Blash, too, we are going to monitor. He's really important to us. All of these young players are really important to us.
"I've tried to be as patient as I can with younger players," added Holland, recalling his years as a minor-league goalie when he saw too many players called up too early, ruining some careers, and the success Scotty Bowman had with late-career acquisitions like Igor Larionov, Slava Fetisov and Larry Murphy. But, certainly, with Dylan Larkin, his maturity level is beyond his years."
Krupa continues with comments from Holland regarding the team's free agent additions, its goaltending and the team's overall goals...
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.